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November 15, 2010

No. 4 Boise State routs state rival Idaho 52-14

MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) Kellen Moore holds a soft spot for Idaho because the Vandals were the only other Football Bowl Subdivision team to offer the Boise State star a scholarship.

That doesn't mean he, or his fourth-ranked Broncos, gave the Vandals any breaks on Friday night.

Moore threw two touchdown passes in the first half, Chris Potter broke three tackles on his way to a 76-yard punt return for a score the first time Boise State touched the ball, and the Broncos routed rival Idaho 52-14.

Boise State coach Chris Petersen always preaches fast starts. But this was a blitz that impressed even him and kept the nation's longest win streak going at 23 games.

"Certainly when you're on the road, especially, to get a fast start and settle our guys down and keep the crowd a little bit quiet is very important," Petersen said.

While Potter was the kick start for the rout, Moore was also at the center of the Vandals' misery.

The junior threw a 58-yard touchdown strike to Titus Young late in the first quarter to give Boise State (9-0, 5-0 WAC) a 28-0 lead and added a 17-yard TD pass to running back Jeremy Avery in the final minute of the first half to make it 38-0 at halftime.

By then, a 12th straight win over the Vandals was a given. About the only moment that didn't go perfectly for the Broncos in the first half was Moore's throw to Austin Pettis that bounced from the receiver's hands as he hit the end zone turf while Moore had his hands in the air, ready to celebrate.

"Every game presents different challenges, different things take place and we were able to take advantage of some short fields, score points quickly," Moore said.

When these teams might play again remains a question. Boise State's victory put an emphatic lid on the 40th and potentially final meeting between the in-state rivals.

The future between the Vandals (4-6, 1-4) and Broncos is in doubt because of the Broncos' pending move to the Mountain West Conference and their desire not to make the trip every other year to Moscow. Boise State president Bob Kustra, who did not attend Friday's game, only fueled the disconnect between the schools by calling the culture in Moscow "nasty" and "inebriated" last summer.

Many of the fans Friday night bailed at halftime.

The nastiness? That came from the Broncos, who started a string of three straight Friday night games on national television with complete domination.

After being off-limits to reporters all week, Broncos players said they'll miss seeing the Vandals.

"I've got to be a little bit sympathetic - they were my only other offer," Moore said. "Down the road I'm sure they'll make arrangements and figure it out. I've always enjoyed playing them."

Moore finished 19 of 26 for 216 yards, after throwing for 507 yards in just three quarters last week against Hawaii. His pass efficiency rating of 180.9 on Friday night will actually lower his season mark that was at 192.4 entering the week.

And his best pass came straight off the sandlot on his final throw of the night. Flushed from the pocket, Moore threw an on-the-run dart to freshman Gabe Linehan at the back of the end zone for a 52-7 lead midway through the third quarter.

That was Moore's capper, as he donned an orange baseball cap the rest of the way.

"You're kind of shaking your head as a coach going, 'That's not how we designed it,'" Petersen said.

Doug Martin ran for 117 yards and two touchdowns, while Avery had a 1-yard TD run in the Broncos' 28-point first quarter.

The Vandals tried to size up Boise State when they took the field, some players venturing onto the Broncos half before coaches and officials shoved everyone to their respective benches.

That was the most fight the Vandals were able to put up. Their mistakes never allowed the sold-out Kibbie Dome to get revving.

"That's a darn good football team, ranked No. 1 or No. 4 or whatever," Idaho coach Robb Akey said. "It's for good reason. They didn't get there by accident."

Potter's punt return - the first taken back for a Boise State score since Kyle Wilson's in 2008 - only set the stage for what followed. The reserve receiver shed three tackles, weaving through the Vandals' coverage unit and giving the Broncos a 7-0 advantage just 41 seconds into the game.

It only got worse. Idaho's best offensive plays were two fake punts Kama Bailey ran for a combined 93 yards.

Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle, who watched last year's matchup with Boise State from the Bronco Stadium sideline, was intercepted twice and finished just 16 of 34 for 118 yards. His second pick was a crusher after Idaho started at the Boise State 29 following a failed onside kick and personal foul penalty on the Broncos. Enderle's pass landed in the hands of linebacker Aaron Tevis.

Brandyn Thompson had two of Boise State's three interceptions and Jeron Johnson also blocked an Idaho punt as the Broncos got contributions in every phase.

"This game is important to Idaho and it's a shame it's not going to get played again," Idaho defensive end Aaron Lavarias said.


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